Socio-Economic Indicators for Forest Restoration Projects

Socio-Economic Indicators for Forest Restoration Projects


This study develops model for assessing the socio-economic outcomes of forest restoration projects. The authors first identifies core social and economic indicators being monitored during and after forest restoration activities; devise a robust and agile model for assessing socio-economic outcomes at different levels of restoration project objectives and resource availability; develop practical and scientific approach and model; and to refine the metric and model for use by the New Mexico’s federally-funded Collaborative Forest Restoration Program (CFRP).

Goals & Methods

The study hypothesizes that the measures used to assess socio-economic indicators in reforestation projects are so varied that it is difficult to compare information across projects. Therefore, there is a need for systematically derived, standardized protocols for collecting and evaluating socioeconomic monitoring data across reforestation projects. Data were collected using snowball sampling, eleven experts with backgrounds in the social, economic, and business aspects of forest restoration were identified and agreed to participate in the process. The model to assess socio-economic outcomes of reforestation projects was developed using Delphi process, an iterative approach of questions, controlled feedback, response modifications, and consensus, framed by participants (or experts) who remain anonymous to each other (Dalkey and Helmer 1962)

Conclusions & Takeaways

The results suggest that (1) among the most highly rated indicators in the model were those related to job creation, community stability, economic impacts, and collaborative participation in restoration processes; (2) despite its potential challenges, including the unbiased identification of experts and time commitments on the part of Delphi participants, the Delphi process offered distinct advantages, including the systematic solicitation and synthesis of expert opinion, as well as an evaluation and refinement process that included input from Dephi experts; (3) the indicator ratings (means and medians), or weights, derived in this study provide a mechanism for prioritizing indicators under the assumption that indicators do not bring equal value to the overall socio-economic assessment of forest restoration projects.



  • Brandon University